The Norman Transcript


April 29, 2014

Officials: Sirens didn’t sound because tornado hit too quickly



“That’s what happened in Quapaw, too,” Davis said. “It’s that worst-case scenario where a tornado forms right in a populated area. It was within a minute of the warning.”

“That thing formed so rapidly,” Davis said. “We looked at one scan when that thing started, and it already had gone through Quapaw.”

John Berrey, chairman of the Quapaw Tribe, said about 200 people had gone to a shelter there because they were aware of the forecast, even though the more serious tornado warning had not been issued.

“We get used to knowing what it looks like when it gets scary,” Berrey said. “Unfortunately we are pretty used to this kind of weather.”

Sharon “Dixie” Benfield, 55, was on the phone with her mother Sunday night when the wall caved in.

“I was in a state of shock,” she said. She was not injured.

Bill and Nancy Weddel were running to get to the safety of the bathroom when the tornado hit, sending glass and other debris flying.

“It was like it was coming after us — everything was exploding,” Nancy Weddel, 63, said.

Her 58-year-old husband said their plans will depend on what the insurance company covers.

“We are all OK. Shook up, but OK,” Nancy Weddel said. “It could have been worse. God just had his hand over us.”

Under Fallin’s executive order, state agencies can make emergency purchases and acquisitions to deliver materials and supplies to needed jurisdictions. The declaration also marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance.

The National Weather Service in Tulsa says on its Twitter account Monday morning that a survey crew is on its way to Quapaw to assess the damage intensity, path and more.


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